87 ford f150 straight 6 300

Just a few quick questions:
I have just returned home after a year and a half on active duty orders to the middle east. After arriving home I decided to take my 87 ford
f150 straight six 4 speed manual transmission out of the garage and to my dismay it is not running as well as it did when I parked it. At best I get 11 mpg on the highway and going up hill can not get the truck over 50mph. I do have oversized tires on it and do not expect it to be a racing machine however 50 mph i thought was kinda ridiculous. I was just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for me to get it back in to actual running condition.
I also found a 78 351m dodge engine that I want to replace with the straight six and was wondering how hard it would be to convert the engine over?
Thanks.
Mark
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First, welcome back and thanks! I would recommend checking for water in the gas, and all tune up items. Vehicles do deteriorate over time while sitting. I would recommend also checking plugs and wires. Check inside the distributor cap for moisture. Also make sure nothing has moved into your air cleaner or exhaust system Good luck.

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First off, thank you very much for you bravery by volunteering to go off to protect our freedom here at home.
As the other poster mentioned, check the fuel, plugs, wires, air filter, and exhaust. We need more information to know just what your truck is doing. Is it rough on idle? Is it rough on acceleration only or while coasting as well? What does it sound like if you rev it up in neutral? Can you hear any whistling around the top of the engine like air sucking in? It has to be either air, fuel, or ignition related. If you have a vacuum leak, then you would be idling pretty rough, too. However, if the air filter was clogged of dust, it would probably idle fine. A lot of times, water gets down in the ignition area sometimes.
To me, it sounds like it may be a misfire. Is there a check engine light on? Yours is fuel injected, right? I know the 302's in 1987 were fuel injected, but I'm not sure about the straight sixes. If it is fuel injected, then you can get a scan tool for super cheap that will tell you which cylinder is missing. As far as things that cause a misfire, start with the cheapest thing, replacing the spark plugs. Just before you pull the plugs, blow some air down in the holes where the plugs are and see if any water blows out, if you have access to an air compressor. If none of that works, try a compression test and fuel pressure test, then the more expensive things to try later are fuel injectors and crankshaft position sensors (again assuming the straight six is fuel injected).
As far as putting the dodge engine in the F150, that is definitely not something I would want to try. I am not the type to shy away from changing out engines and transmissions, but that sounds more like a project for the monster garage guys. You would probably have to custom fabricate motor mounts. Then, you would probably have to get a dodge transmission to mate up to that engine. Your Ford bellhousing will not line up with the Dodge engine. Maybe someone out there has a bellhousing that would convert it, but it wouldn't be cheap.
As far as the fuel mileage problems, those are usually emissions related issue, such as the tubes to the evap purge solenoid get clogged or pcv valve.
Man, if your truck is carbureted, then I guess my post doesn't really help you much.
jay420

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Check the simple, cheap stuff first -- like tune-up issues, fuel filter, etc.. Welcome home from overseas. Thank you so very much for your service to our country. I know of a transmission rebuilder who recently rebuilt the tranny of a GI who had just returned from the war and was out of the army and was looking to start a contracting business. The tranny in the ex-soldier's Chevy was very weak. The tranny mechanic rebuilt the tranny and told the kid "no charge". Nice to hear stories like this. Should be an example to us all.
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Did you put fresh gas in it when you returned? The old gas could have plugged stuff up, like the cat converter (burned up the insides of it), thereby causing the diminished power and bad mpg's.
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Surprised it even ran at all. Old, bad gasoline at all portions of the fuel system now. 3 months was my limit for not treating gas (dry gas) before underway. Standard 6 months, always. Beyond that, like a year or so, run it till the tank is dry, then store it.
How do you stay within 87 EPA standards with a 78 year motor?
--
Jonny



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When you say Dodge along with 351M engine, they don't sound good together. 351M sounds like one of FORD's 2 big-block 351's (Ford also has the small-block 351--a Windsor engine that looks almost identical to the 302.). IIRC, Dodge had 318's, 360's and 400's--but no 351M. The Ford brand of 351M (or 351C or small-block 351 Windsor) should almost be a bolt-in, using a/its mating trans. As far as installing any Dodge engine, and recalling that "anything can be put into anything", one must remember for that adage to be true, be sure to have welders and a machine shop close at hand! HTH, s BTW: Welcome home!!!
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I would just keep the 300ci straight six in it, and if it's worn out, perhaps have it rebuilt, or find another 300ci that runs great that's in a rusty truck. Those are great engines and so easy to do tuneups on. They probably have nearly the same torque as the 302/351 Windsor. My uncle bought a brand new '77 Ford F150, flesh colored tan, with the 300ci 6, 4 speed manual,and used it in his contracting business. He once had so many bags of concrete in it that the back of the truck was nearly bottoming out, and the guy at the local hardware store told him: "you'll never make it up the mountain with a 6 cylinder engine." (large, steep mountain near where he lived). Well, he made it easily. I should get that truck off of him and have its 300ci rebuilt. It blew up about 5 years ago after 24 years of service.
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